Virtual tours revolutionize the real estate market by enabling potential buyers to explore properties remotely. Knowing how to craft an effective virtual tour is crucial for agents aiming to broaden their listing’s reach. Begin by selecting the virtual tour type, choosing equipment, and planning shots. Essential steps include leveling the tripod, staging each room, and utilizing virtual tour software. Despite perceived challenges, companies like Asteroom simplify the process with affordable, user-friendly software and a convenient 3D tour kit. This kit transforms a smartphone into a 360-degree camera, allowing agents to create high-resolution virtual tours swiftly. Dive into the world of virtual tour for Real Estate and elevate your property listings.
Determine the Best Type of Virtual Tour to Offer
The three main types of virtual tours include the following:
Video walk-throughs are dynamic visualizations that guide viewers through a property as an agent or photographer navigates it. Although the least interactive, they effectively engage audiences, creating an immersive experience of the property. Easily created using smartphones or advanced video equipment, these tours quickly enhance property listings, leveraging the power of engaging video content.
3D virtual tours
Distinct from videos, 3D virtual tours provide an interactive experience, enabling users to navigate through 3D images. Created by capturing panoramic photos of each space, these tours use software to stitch images together. Although room transitions may feel slightly abrupt, 3D tours offer valuable insights into a property’s layout, allowing viewers to explore at their own pace. Platforms like Zillow 3D Home Tours offer a cost-effective way to generate interactive 3D tours using 360-degree cameras and smartphones.
Interactive 360-degree Virtual tours
360-degree tours deliver a fully immersive experience, akin to virtual reality, allowing users to walk through a property virtually. This type requires specialized equipment and software, standing out as a distinctive and captivating option. By placing the camera in the center of each room and capturing high-resolution, 360-degree photos, these tours offer a lifelike perspective. Interactive features like text and links can be incorporated into the photos, enhancing the viewer’s experience and setting your listings apart from the competition. Although more resource-intensive, 360-degree tours provide a truly immersive exploration of a property.
Choose the Right Equipment
Real estate agents sometimes shy away from creating virtual tours due to confusion about the necessary equipment. However, with the surge in virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree photography, numerous affordable and user-friendly options have become available. Learning how to make a virtual tour can be simplified by utilizing a smartphone or a DSLR camera in conjunction with a virtual tour kit.
Many professionals recommend using a DSLR rig to achieve the best results in creating virtual walk-throughs. A DSLR rig involves enhancing your DSLR camera with specific accessories designed for virtual tours. Essential components for this setup include:
- DSLR Camera: Optimal choices include the Sony a7R series, Sony a6000, or Nikon D3500.
- Fisheye Lens: This type of lens provides a wide angle, and considerations include cropped, circular, or diagonal fisheye lenses.
- Tripod and/or Monopod: A tripod ensures camera stability, while a monopod is useful for shooting smooth 360-degree videos.
- Panoramic Tripod Head: Essential for capturing panoramic photos, evaluate whether a manual or automatic tripod head suits your needs.
- Carry Case: While seemingly optional, a carry case is essential for keeping equipment secure, safe, and easily transportable during property visits. Proper equipment ensures a seamless virtual tour creation process, allowing real estate professionals to showcase properties effectively.
Select Virtual Tour Software
|Eye Spy 360
|Photographers and agents want the most convenient way to capture, edit, and share virtual tours
|Real estate professionals wanting the most extensive software and equipment for virtual tours and 3D media
|User-friendly VR Maker app to build interactive and branded virtual tours
|Agents who want subscription-free software compatible with all types of equipment
|$12 per active tour, plus individual pricing for services
|Free, paid plans start at $9.99 per month
|$5 – $95 per month
|$12.99 per month or $15 per tour
Plan the Shots for Your Virtual Tour
Creating an effective virtual tour demands meticulous planning and preparation, surpassing the requirements of traditional still photos. Successful real estate professionals recognize the importance of implementing systems to enhance their listing processes and overall success.
Initiate the process by compiling a comprehensive list of every room within the property that should feature in the virtual tour walk-through. Prior to the shoot, conduct a thorough walk-through of the home, identifying the center of each room. Ensure that your camera can effectively capture and highlight the distinctive features from this central vantage point.
In cases where the center proves impractical, identify an alternative viewpoint that maximizes detail capture and mark the spot for reference. Remember that every space contributes to the potential buyer’s perception, necessitating the inclusion of rooms like bathrooms, walk-in closets, and mudrooms in the virtual tour. Creating a pre-shoot shot list is crucial to ensuring that no essential aspect is overlooked, providing a comprehensive and engaging virtual tour for prospective buyers.
Clean & Stage Each Room
Once armed with your virtual tour plan, it is imperative to ensure the physical readiness of the home for the upcoming photo shoot. Begin by removing any obstacles obstructing the lens or potential distractions that may appear as clutter. For optimal results, consider implementing additional home staging techniques, such as depersonalization, the removal of excess or mismatched furniture, or a fresh coat of paint.
To elevate the overall visual appeal, contemplate in-person home staging or enlist the services of a virtual staging company. The impact of staging on the buyer’s perspective is substantial, particularly in virtual home tours where viewers tend to scrutinize photos and actively explore each room.
Leading virtual staging companies, like BoxBrownie, deliver highly realistic images at an affordable cost with remarkably swift turnaround times. Utilizing virtual staging with BoxBrownie empowers you to craft a supremely efficient and effective strategy, driving heightened traffic to your listings.
Level the Tripod
In the realm of crafting virtual walk-throughs, there’s a fundamental yet crucial step that demands attention for every shot — leveling the tripod. Despite taking just a few seconds, this practice is indispensable for capturing pristine images, videos, and panoramic photos. In real estate photography, maintaining clear lines and angles is paramount. Never attempt to create panoramic or 360-degree images without ensuring your camera is placed on a level surface. If your tripod lacks a built-in bubble level, readily available leveling tools on smartphones, such as Bubble Level for iPhone or iHandy Level, can be downloaded to aid in this process. Adjust the tripod legs until the bubble is centered between the lines for a perfectly leveled setup.
Take Test Shots
Embarking on your shoot, it’s prudent to begin with test shots for each image on your list. In the quest to master the art of creating a lead-generating virtual tour, these preliminary shots serve as a diagnostic tool. Pay meticulous attention to details that may warrant adjustments—be it lighting nuances, camera angles, or the arrangement of decor. If any element proves distracting, seize the opportunity to reposition the camera or finesse the room’s staging. Vigilance towards mirrors, glass, or windows is crucial to ensure neither you nor the camera inadvertently surfaces as reflections in the images. Swift adjustments guarantee the seamless execution of your virtual tour.
Take All Photos on Your Image Shot List
Armed with a comprehensive shot list and calibrated camera settings, proceed systematically through each room for photography. Establish the predetermined vantage point, set up your tripod, and capture images. Review each picture on the camera screen, making necessary retakes, and ensure you’ve amassed all requisite images before advancing to the next space. A surplus of photos is preferable to any shortfall, ensuring a thorough visual representation of the property for an impactful virtual tour.
Compose Your Virtual Tour
After securing all requisite property shots, the next step is to craft the virtual tour using your chosen software. Irrespective of your equipment, the process generally involves three key steps:
- Upload Images: Start by importing your captured images into the software. If you’re a first-time user, the software might guide you through the process with step-by-step instructions.
- Add Images: Follow the software prompts to add static or panoramic images. For 3D virtual tours, the software will seamlessly stitch static images, while panoramic photos are assembled for 360-degree tours.
- Utilize Professional Assistance: If needed, consider hiring a professional freelancer from platforms like Fiverr. Browse through profiles, reviews, and examples to find the right expert for your project. Contact freelancers, discuss your requirements, and agree on terms before commencing the project. Explore Fiverr for available freelancers today.
Share Your Virtual Tour
After completing the virtual tour creation, maximize its exposure by strategically promoting it across various platforms. Utilize links or HTML codes provided by virtual tour software to embed the tour on websites, emails, and social media. Develop a systematic approach for sharing and integrate it into your marketing and open house checklist. Leverage the following platforms for optimal reach:
- IDX Website: Feature the tour prominently on your IDX website.
- Single-Property Websites: Create dedicated pages for individual properties with embedded virtual tours.
- Zillow Listing: Enhance your Zillow listings with the virtual tour.
- Local MLS: Include the virtual tour link in your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
- Email Campaign: Incorporate the tour into your email marketing campaigns.
- Social Media: Share the virtual tour on various social media platforms.
- Real Estate Newsletter: Include the tour link in your real estate newsletters.
Virtual tours offer a dynamic and engaging avenue for potential buyers to explore properties online. With various types of virtual tours available, leveraging the right equipment, software, and strategic approach can significantly enhance listing appeal and boost sale prices. Learning the art of creating virtual tours is accessible, turning a seemingly complex task into a valuable asset for your real estate business. As the real estate landscape evolves, embracing virtual tours becomes not just a trend but a crucial tool in captivating and satisfying the needs of today’s tech-savvy homebuyers.